In November, the Victoria Grizzlies traded future considerations to the Chilliwack Chiefs for forward Elliot Dutil.
Dutil is a 2003-born forward from Montreal, Quebec in his final season of junior hockey. For 2024-25, Edutil will attend Lindenwood University in the NCAA.
Dutil took a different path to reach the BCHL. Starting east, Dutil played in Quebec before arriving in the Prairies and after two seasons in Saskatchewan and Alberta, Dutil joined the Chilliwack Chiefs.
This article is about Dutil’s path to Victoria. But before that, I will look at an earlier trade the Grizzlies made.
A quick trade
Before the Grizzlies played their first regular season game, they made a trade with the Langley Rivermen. In exchange for future considerations, the Grizzlies acquired 2003-born defender Deven Nagra.
Like Dutil, Nagra is playing his final season of junior hockey and also started his junior career outside of the BCHL. After playing two seasons for the Milton Menace of the Ontario Junior Hockey League, Nagra joined the Rivermen via a trade in August 2021.
In two seasons with Langley, Nagra notched three goals and 24 points.
Dutil got his start in Quebec
In his first season of record, Dutil spent 2018-19 with the Beauce-Appalaches Midget Espoir in the Quebec Midget 17 AAA League. Before moving on, Dutil had 18 goals and 28 points in 32 games for Beauce-Appalaches.
The following season, he played for the College Notre-Dame Albatros in the Quebec Midget AAA League, scoring 10 goals and 27 points in 42 games.
During the 2020-21 season, Dutil joined the Cegep Beauce-Appalaches Condors in the Quebec Junior Hockey League, but because of COVID-19 restrictions, didn’t play any games. It wasn’t until 2021-22 when Dutil would play again.
Coming to the Prairies
In June 2021, the Notre Dame Hounds of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League acquired Dutil from the Condors for a player development fee. Dutil played one season for the Hounds and notched 37 goals and 67 points in 58 games.
After the 2021-22 season, Dutil was traded to the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Brooks Bandits. In return, the Bandits sent future considerations to Notre Dame.
Dutil played 57 games for the Bandits in 2022-23, putting up 29 goals and 59 points. In September 2022, he committed to Lindenwood University to play NCAA Division I hockey.
Just ahead of the 2023-24 AJHL season, the Bandits traded Dutil to the Sherwood Park Crusaders as part of a multiplayer deal between the two teams. However, Dutil never played a game for the Crusaders and signed with the Chilliwack Chiefs instead.
Arriving in the BCHL
Dutil made his Chiefs debut in their Sept. 22 game against the Langley Rivermen earning one assist. There, Dutil earned one assist against the Rivermen. After playing 20 games for Chilliwack, Dutil was sent to the Grizzlies for future considerations. He played his first game in Victoria on Dec. 1 against Nanaimo and posted one assist.
If I were to compare Dutil’s junior hockey path to that of a National Hockey League player, it would be New Jersey Devils forward Tyler Toffoli. Since the 2019-20 season, Toffoli has played for five different NHL teams, including Los Angeles, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, and the Devils.
Toffoli has been a prolific goal-scorer for every team he’s played for and the same is true for Dutil. Although not piling up the points in his BCHL career thus far as he has in some of his other stops, Dutil has a track record as a scorer in the SJHL and AJHL, it is likely a matter of time before he breaks out for his final season of junior hockey.